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Anita realizes she never got 'the sex talk' growing up. And even if she had, it probably wouldn't have gone like this.

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A large brick industrial building with a Tyson sign on the side
Jacob Biba / Carolina Public Press

Nursing homes, schools, correctional facilities and childcare centers are required to report information about coronavirus outbreaks to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. The state agency then shares that information publicly in its regularly-updated COVID-19 dashboard, which includes details about the specific facilities in which the outbreaks are happening and how many people have tested positive for the virus.

But the agency does not publish similar data about meat processing facilities, even though they have been a hot spot for the virus. 

The 2020 Census is beset with challenges. COVID-19 led to cuts in outreach and information campaigns, as well as pushed back the process of door-to-door census-taker visits. As a result, North Carolina and several other states across the country are set for historic lows in population reporting. 

UNC Facilities

Students are beginning to arrive back on campuses across the UNC System, and workers are concerned for their own safety amid early accounts of inconsistent mask-wearing and large social gatherings on campuses.

Lamoreaux via Flickr / https://bit.ly/3kHkXhY

The North Carolina city of Asheville is considering removing the names of slave owners and other people associated with discrimination from some streets and a park.

Greg Drumwright
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Greg Drumwright has spent most of his life in North Carolina’s Triad region. He was raised in Burlington, attended college at North Carolina A&T and then Wake Forest, and for the past 17 years has led The Citadel Church in Greensboro.

N.C. Governor Roy Cooper and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen.
N.C. Department of Public Safety

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper won another legal victory defending his COVID-19 executive orders on Tuesday, this time when a judge rejected Lt. Gov. Dan Forest's demand that they be blocked by declaring his lawsuit is unlikely to succeed.

Courtesy Jon Gardiner / UNC-Chapel Hill

A group of university staff and faculty have filed a lawsuit against the UNC System to seek safer working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. The plaintiffs are asking for a Wake County Superior Court judge to grant them class action status, and to step in on behalf of all UNC System employees.

There are now more than 130,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina, as a result of more than 2 million conducted tests. But testing is not the only method to determine the prevalence of the virus in a community.

Researchers are also analyzing the wastewater in sewage systems to determine levels of COVID-19 in several towns and cities across the state.

Host Dave DeWitt talks with Dr. Rachel Noble, professor of marine sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, about her team’s wastewater research and how it can improve efforts to slow the spread of the virus.

We also hear about a new study that asked people across the country how they have experienced pandemic-related stress.
 


a green lawn on the campus of St. Augustine's University
St. Augustine's University

A new study shows that healthy food options are limited in the communities around each of the state’s 10 historically Black colleges and universities.

Jim Hunt was first elected Governor of North Carolina in 1976 when he was just 39 years old. He served four terms in the Executive Mansion, spanning four different decades. 

During his time in office, Hunt remained a steadfast supporter of public schools and prioritized education policy. In 1984, Hunt also set his sights on the U.S. Senate, and lost a bitter race to longtime Senator Jesse Helms.

On this episode of the Politics Podcast from WUNC, Hunt discusses his legacy as a governor, recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations, and a time he hitchhiked to the Midwest.


 

Marisela Martinez stands for a portrait after an interview about working conditions as a housekeeper at Mountaire Farms, a poultry processing plant, on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, in Siler City, N.C.
Casey Toth / The News and Observer

On the first day of April, when confirmed cases of COVID-19 had barely broken 1,500 in North Carolina, Marisela Martínez started a housekeeping job through a subcontractor at the Mountaire Farms poultry plant in Siler City.

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official stands with his back to the camera as someone is led away by other officials.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Sheriffs in North Carolina are signing new agreements with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Under the new Warrant Service Officer program, local law enforcement officials can serve federal administrative warrants and transfer detainees into ICE custody.

 

Courtesy / U.S. Geological Survey

Local officials in the northwest corner of the state, where the epicenter of Sunday's earthquake was located, say the damage was serious, especially to homes. 

Mike Spencer / AP Photo

Prosecutors asked a judge on Monday to give a former North Carolina congressman no prison time for lying to the FBI about his role in a plan to try to bribe the state's top insurance regulator with large political contributions.

A class photo of fifth graders from the late 60s in front of the U.S. flag. There is an even split of Black and white students, mostly grouped in clumps. In the front row, four girls have their legs crossed.
Courtesy of Janet Perez

How do visually impaired students learn best in a virtual classroom? That is Janet Perez’s job to figure out this year. She is the instructional and assistive technology facilitator at the Governor Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh. Though she is sighted, Perez has plenty of feedback for web designers to make online learning more accessible (including some flaws on WUNC’s website). 

Shaw University in downtown Raleigh
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Soon after students were sent home in the spring because of COVID-19, a dozen presidents at historically Black colleges and universities across the country strutted their way in to the Tik-Tok “Don’t Rush Challenge.”

It was a way to show school pride and get a smile out of students who were likely at home on computers, not knowing when or if they would return.

Michael Hull / via AP

Updated at 5:35 p.m.

The most powerful earthquake to hit North Carolina in more than 100 years shook much of the state early Sunday, rattling homes, businesses and residents.

While most historically Black colleges and universities in North Carolina are welcoming students back to campus this month, some small, private institutions are offering only virtual instruction this fall.

Host Leoneda Inge talks with Suzanne Walsh, president of Bennett College in Greensboro, about the college’s decision to go online this semester.  

We also hear Durham-based jazz musician Brian Horton perform a unique rendition of the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” often called the Black national anthem.

Graham Protests
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

A federal court issued an emergency ruling this week, saying law enforcement likely violated the First Amendment rights of protesters in Alamance County. Protesters against police brutality and racial injustice have been met with stiff opposition from city and county officials, and from Confederate sympathizers.

This week:  Governor Cooper criticizes President Trump and Lt. Governor Forest over their pandemic responses. And close to 150,000 voters have requested absentee ballots for the November election. This week a federal judge ruled that a witness requirement will remain in place, however, voters will have a chance to correct administrative errors on their ballots. Becki Gray and Rob Schofield discuss Cooper's criticisms, the latest in mail-in balloting, as well as a troubling video released by the Forsyth County Sheriff's Department. 


A screengrab of a video released on Aug. 5, 2020 that shows the events that led up to the December death of John Neville, an inmate in the Forsyth County Jail.
Forsyth County Sheriff

A North Carolina sheriff’s office has changed its restraint policy in the wake of last year’s death of a man jailed on an assault charge, but the restraint wasn’t banned.

Flickr/Phil Roeder

What insight do the polls hold less than 90 days away from the November elections? North Carolina has remained a bright purple target in the Electoral College and has received increased attention from presidential candidates in the 21st century. Former Vice President Joe Biden currently holds the lead in the Old North State, with four percentage points over President Donald Trump in a CBS Battleground Tracker Poll published on Aug. 2.

N.C. Governor Roy Cooper and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen.
N.C. Department of Public Safety

When K-12 public school students in North Carolina resume classes this fall, the vast majority of them will be sitting at home in front of a computer screen.

Mike Fox UNC Baseball
Gerry Broome / AP

A new era of baseball is beginning for the Tar Heels.

UNC-Chapel Hill announced Friday that Mike Fox, the winningest active coach in Division I college baseball, is retiring after 22 seasons on the job as the head coach of the Tar Heels.

Two women smiling together. Mother on the left, daughter on the right.
Kathleen Burkinshaw

Seventy-five years ago this week, the United States bombed two Japanese cities with nuclear weapons. The United States detonated the first atomic bomb over Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, and the second over Nagasaki three days later, killing tens of thousands of Japanese civilians. This event is more than just a page in a history textbook for Japanese American author Kathleen Burkinshaw.

Allison Swaim

Each summer, WUNC reporters share the coffee station with high school students. The dozen or so youth mingle with our staff and dip their toes into audio storytelling and the weird world of public radio. This year, with our offices closed and the coffee only flowing at home, the Youth Reporting Institute had to shake things up, so they hopped on social media.

Gov. Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force are scheduled to hold a media briefing on COVID-19 on Friday.

Image couresy of Kerwin Pittman

It's been less than a month since anti-racist activists posted "Black Lives Matter" on a billboard next to a large Confederate flag in Pittsboro. Now, the owner of that property says he wants the billboard removed.

A film poster with a man and a woman in a passionate embrace
Armando Seguso // Heritage Auctions

Our next Movies on the Radio hits close to home. This month, we will discuss how the South gets portrayed in film. Whether it is Mississippi in the 1930s in “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” or the Louisiana bayou in “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” we will explore how the big screen takes on the South’s history, symbols, caricatures and critiques. And as conversations about systemic racism across the country evolve, what context do we need to give to “Gone With the Wind”?

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